STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Summer Hemphill scored 23 points and Cierra Dillard added 20 as 10th seeded Buffalo upset seventh-seeded Rutgers 82-71 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.
Hanna Hall and Autumn Jones each added 12 points for the Bulls (24-9), who will be looking to advance to the Sweet 16 for a second straight season.
Stasha Carey had 20 points and 11 rebounds for Rutgers (22-10), which has been without head coach C. Vivian Stringer since late February because of an undisclosed medical issue.
The Bulls trailed by two points after the second and third quarters, but took control of the game midway through the fourth.
Hemphill broke a 69-all tie with five straight points, capped by a layup off a steal by Dillard.
They were up 76-71 with just over two minutes left when center Courtney Wilkens (nine points) fouled out.
But the Scarlet Knights, who outscored Buffalo 38-26 in the paint, could not capitalize. They had four turnovers and missed seven shots down the stretch.
The Bulls sealed the win from the foul line.
The Scarlet Knights lost freshman guard Noga Peleg Pelc in the first quarter, when she went down at midcourt holding her left leg. Peleg Pelc, who had 14 points in the Rutgers’ loss to Iowa in the Big Ten tournament, was helped to the locker room and returned to the bench later on crutches with her ankle in a brace.
Buffalo: The Bulls are making their third NCAA appearance, all of which have come over the last four years. The Bulls upset South Florida and Florida State last year. They are now 3-2 in their short tournament history.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights were in the tournament for the first time since 2015, their 25th appearance, and are now 36-25. Stringer, who would have gotten credit for the win, needs one more to reach 500 at Rutgers (499-277).
The Bulls face either host UConn or 15th-seed Towson on Sunday.
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